014 A Question of Questionable Language

Eh, I hope you enjoy the two posts on Singrish. Sorry, I got too carried away. So, let me say this again. I hope that you had a good laugh from the last two posts that was meant to make us realise how strange Singlish, or Manglish for that matter, look in written form. I'm sure others have done this before and I'm not the first. But, I included the irony that I discussed matters concerning Singlish in Singlish. So, I hope you had fun, and in this blog entry, as the name suggests, we are still in the matter of language.

At the end of the blog, I noted that the native tongue in a country is especially important, as it is supposedly a national identity for a country, and one isn't a true citizen of a country until he/she is well acquainted with the identity. However, Singapore is a multi-racial country with people of many backgrounds speaking different languages. Hence, the four national languages, Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil. However, these are not shared in common by every citizen of the country, except perhaps English which everyone is supposed to know. But then again, the common English is not the English of the "Native Tongue" or Queen's English, as we affectionately call it. It is a corrupted lingo, with dozens of borrowed words from Malay, Hokkien and many other Chinese dialects, bad grammar, totally inverted sentence structures, short forms and weird pronunciations, known as Singlish, shortened form for Singaporean English. The paradox here is that when we are encouraged to speak the "Native Tongue", well, we notice that we are natives of Singapore (I hope you don't get pictures of some strange Polynesians natives inhabiting some isolated tropical island in the Pacific Ocean). So, what do the natives here speak commonly? Singlish, of course.

Frankly, as a person who can speak impeccable English at one time and change to the worst English you ever heard at another time, I don't bear any grudge against Singlish or any move to eradicate it, but I have a certain bond to it has the informal tongue that will change any tense situation to something less formal and sometimes hilarious. Also, it's something we grow up with since we children. We spoke to our friends, parents and neighbours in this tongue, why not keep it. This love that we have makes us hold Singlish close to our hearts.

However, we do need to have a command of the Queen's English. More about this in my later blog entries, so bye for now...